Byron Bay’s annual V-Day dawn dance will be held on Sunday 14 February, to empower women and call for an end to violence against women and children.
This is the ninth consecutive year of V-Day, which will be followed by Monday and Tuesday performances of the Vagina Conversations at the Byron Theatre.
Byron Shire Citizen of the Year Zenith Virago, organiser of V-Day and the Vagina Conversations, said: ‘A lot of people find it incredibly empowering, to stand together as women and do something and have their voices heard’.
‘I would love it if there was no need for that event, because there was no violence against women and children. But while we have it, it’s better to do something rather than nothing.’
The beach dance has grown from 60 people in its first year to around 250 people.
Ms Virago said the call-and-response section of the event was popular. ‘There’s a time to find that deep inner voice, furious voice, so if you ever find yourself in the situation where you might need it, you know what it feels like to shout out NO.’
V-Day will be held at Main Beach from 6:30am for a 7am dance. The ‘V’ stands for Victory, Valentine and Vagina.
Vagina Conversations in sixth year
Following five years of sell-out performances, the Vagina Conversations will present more creative, funny and personal stories from people with vaginas in the Byron Shire, MCed by Zenith Virago.
All proceeds from the event will go to the Mullumbimby District Neighbourhood Centre Women’s Resource Service and will contribute to their Support and Recovery Fund.
‘That money goes directly to women and children escaping violence in the Byron Shire,’ said Jenelle Bowen from the Women’s Resource Service.
The Vagina Conversations have raised over $40,000 for the Support and Recovery Fund in the last five years.
Ms Bowen said the money raised provides vital practical help with things like accommodation and car registration for women who have just left an unsafe relationship.
‘A lot of the money goes towards emergency accommodation, because we don’t have any government-funded emergency accommodation in the Byron Shire.’
Being able to stay local, rather than travelling to emergency housing in Tweed or Ballina, is a big help for vulnerable women, especially if there are kids involved, Ms Bowen said.
The Vagina Conversations will be held on February 15 and 16 at 7:30pm and tickets are available from Byron Community Centre.